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Still Life with Lobster

Pieter de Ring is believed to have studied in Leiden with Jan Davidsz. de Heem, one of the great Dutch still life masters. De Ring, likewise, became a specialist in the genre, closely following De Heem’s style. This composition features an abundance of fruit, seafood, bread, and wine. Exotic details in the picture—including the imported grapes, melons, and oranges; the Chinese porcelain dish; and the African grey parrot at the left—suggest a patron who was involved in the foreign trade that brought wealth to Holland during this era. If there is a moralizing message in this picture, it may refer to the passage of time, symbolized here by the depiction of fruit and seafood, foods that must be consumed quickly before they rot.

Pieter de Ring
Dutch, ca. 1615–1660
Still Life with Lobster
ca. 1650
Oil on canvas
35 ¼ x 46 in. (89.5 x 116.8 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 73.22